New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: According to a new discovery by astronomers, they have discovered a new black hole in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is so huge that it challenges the existing theories of how stars evolve in the solar system, researchers said on Thursday as reported by news agency AFP.

The newly discovered black hole, LB-1 is 15,000 light-years from Earth and has a mass 70 times greater than the Sun, according to the journal ‘Nature’.

“The Milky Way Galaxy, where the Earth is located, approximately contain 100 million cosmic black holes, but the newly found LB-1 is twice as massive as anything scientists thought possible. Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution," said Liu Jifeng, a National Astronomical Observatory of China professor who led the research, as reported by AFP.

“But researchers believed that typical stars in the Milky Way shed most of their gas through stellar winds, preventing the emergence of a black hole the size of LB-1. Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation," Liu added in a statement.

Scientists generally believe that there are two types of black holes. The more common stellar black holes -- up to 20 times bigger than the Sun -- form when the center of a very big star collapses in on itself. And the other one is Supermassive black holes, which are at least a million times bigger than the Sun and their origins are uncertain.

Astronomers are still only beginning to grasp "the abundance of black holes and the mechanisms by which they form," David Reitze, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology who was not involved in the discovery, told AFP.

Stellar black holes are usually formed in the aftermath of supernova explosions, a phenomenon that occurs when extremely large stars burn out at the end of their lives.

"LB-1's large mass falls into a range "known as the 'pair-instability gap' where supernovae should not have produced it. That means that this is a new kind of black hole, formed by another physical mechanism," Reitze said as quoted by AFP.

LB-1 was discovered by an international team of scientists using China's sophisticated LAMOST telescope.

Additional images from two of the world's largest optical telescopes -- Spain's Gran Telescopio Canarias and the Keck I telescope in the United States -- confirmed that the size of LB-1, which the National Astronomical Observatory of China said was "nothing short of fantastic".


(With AFP Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan